classical music ROBERT MAYCOCK

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The Independent Culture
Here we are, half-way through the 20th century in the South Bank's dash towards the millennium. "The Forties: War and Peace" is the latest series, and as usual Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO are in the front line. In this year's instalment Bartk and Stravinsky continue their domination of the mid-century's music, while Tippett and Messaien are the fresh-faced newcomers. Now listen on...

There's actually a change of atmosphere now. One of the ear-opening qualities about earlier decades was bringing together composers who were active at the same time. Take tomorrow's concert, which boasts Stravinsky's Orpheus, Bartk's Concerto for Orchestra and Messiaen's Petites Liturgies - but it's a collection of early modernist masters that we might have heard any time in the last 30 years. A more intriguing link comes next Friday when Tippett's A Child of Our Time sits alongside A Survivor From Warsaw by Schoenberg.

Smaller concerts catch the spirit of adventure better. In Wednesday's "New Voices from the New World", which offers a rare chance to catch the resplendent voice of Willard White (left) in the intimate space of the Purcell Room, the rigours of Carter and Nancarrow share time with Copland, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Even there, mixed Americana has been well-trodden ground since the heyday of the Almeida Festival. Time now to start planning for 1997, and a chance to tell the Sixties like they really were. How about Luigi Nono and the Supremes - and a special Valentine concert with free joints for every member of the audience?

See listings below for details

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